Tracers and Fabricated Spotlights

BHD OED and Super oed section

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Tracers and Fabricated Spotlights

Postby ShadowZ » 02-23-2010 04:36 PM

Thread under construction

As the title suggests, this quick tutorial will point out what is needed to create an operational tracer or fabricated spotlight from scratch.

What is a tracer?
A tracer is a 3D object that is self-lighted, essentially having an additive skin that blends and adds smoothly with its surrounding depending on the normal of the faces.

What is a fabricated spotlight?
A fabricated spotlight is a substitute for "actual spotlights" in games that do not support directional luminescence. For BHD, JO, DFx, and DFx2, our spotlights will use the same material settings used as tracers to achieve the effect of a spotlight.

It must be noted that the fabricated spotlight will Not directly illuminate objects it is pointed to, but rather every object that is seen through the walls of the projected beam.

How do we make a tracer or spotlight?
To make a good looking tracer or spotlight, you must meet the following criteria:
    1. Rounded edges must be fairly high-poly, otherwise the tracer or spotlight will look too blocky
    2. Your textures used for a tracer or spotlight must be fully opaque, the tracer material type does not look at alpha values, other than to see if it is fully transparent. Meaning, if you have an opacity greater than 0, the texture will be opaque.
    3. You textures used for a tracer or spotlight must be greater than 2x2 pixels.

Once this criteria is met, you may make your tracer or spotlight in any shape or form you want.

The key to making a tracer or spotlight in JO, DFx, and DFx2 is to use the "Tracer" material type in the SuperOED, at the very bottom of the list.

How do we make a good looking tracer or spotlight?
To make a tracer look good, you should make sure that the trailing edge (the part of the tracer that is closer to the shooter) is fairly long and sharp, like a needle.

To make a spotlight look good, you should make the light beam conical, with the point of the cone closest to the light source and the base of the cone to your maximum range.

To make both tracers and spotlights look good with texture, be sure your texture is a gradient from your brightest color to pure black. This will make the areas that are black fully transparent while the brightest color translucent and somewhat ghostly.
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